The way they poke up from the ground, peeping moles at first, growing braver every day until all at once, it seems, they spring out full force, declaring, ‘I’m here!’
Sometimes, they arrive swaddled within themselves, and day by day they unwrap a new section – like a long game of pass the parcel with only one piece of wrapping – and the prize is all their delicate veins and bobbles finally getting chance to stretch.
Then we have those that simply step out from another through the thinnest of slits: ‘Door’s open, here I go. Bit of a squeeze, but I can manage…there!’
Pop. One new leaf.
Of course, we mustn’t exclude the coiled fronds which roll open in yo-yo fashion. Chlorophyll-rich tongues lapping at the sun or arching gently over the moist soil of riverbanks (or that shaded brick wall you’ve ignored forever).
Branches wave and shake, responding to the seasons. In a disco spread across months, this barely perceptible flailing culminates in the arrival of buds that push out green sails, ready to carry the plant on to its next stage.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, ‘traditional’ fundraisers etc.) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.
If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!